Shane Lowry coy on whether he believes LIV players should be eligible for the Ryder Cup

Shane Lowry coy on whether he believes LIV players should be eligible for the Ryder Cup

World number 20, Shane Lowry, has refused to commit one way or the other when asked about whether he believes players on the LIV Golf Tour should be eligible for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.

Lowry, who made his Ryder Cup debut in 2020 at Whistling Straits, has been very outspoken about LIV golf in the past, saying that “he can’t stand” the new Saudi-backed tour in the past. He also fueled tensions between LIV and non-LIV players in September when he won the BMW PGA Championship and said it was “one for the good guys.”

This year’s LIV Tour starts this weekend in Mexico, and there are a number of European players participating with Ryder Cup experience. Most notable perhaps is Ian Poulter, otherwise known as Mr Ryder Cup. 

Last month, Poulter said that he still had aspirations of qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team but Lowry is unsure as to whether Poulter and other Europeans on the LIV tour should be selected.

Speaking at the Honda Classic, the Irishman said:

“I can’t sit there and say whether I think they should or shouldn’t be allowed to feature at the Ryder Cup because the way it is now, I could be on the team with one or two of them in September.

I don’t know whether they should or they shouldn’t. That’s just kind of the way I am now. But even if I had an opinion, I can’t really say because if I’m part of the team and then there’s bad blood there, it doesn’t bode well for the team.”

As things stand

Under current rules, Luke Donald will be free to select players on the LIV Tour as they are still eligible to play on the DP World Tour while a legal battle rumbles on. The situation is different for Zach Johnson and team USA, however, as all LIV players are suspended indefinitely from the PGA Tour meaning they won’t be able to qualify for the Ryder Cup. 

The latest European golfer with Ryder Cup experience to join LIV Golf is Thomas Pieters. The Belgian top scored for Europe at Hazeltine in 2016 and was on course for a place in Luke Donald’s team prior to signing for LIV. 

It remains to be seen whether Donald will rock the boat by using his captain picks to bring in some LIV players into his team. Last year, Rory Mcilroy said that he felt betrayed by his former Ryder Cup teammates who had joined the Saudi tour. 

Unfinished business for Lowry 

Regardless of who takes part and who doesn’t, Shane Lowry has said that winning the Ryder Cup is one of his main goals for the year after the disappointing 19-9 loss in 2020. He said:

“I was part of the last team and we got beaten pretty badly up at Whistling Straits, but hopefully we can get one back this year. I’ll be doing my best to make the team and if I don’t make it, I’ll be doing my best to put my best foot forward to get a pick of Luke. Hopefully, I can be there and add something to the team.

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